Monday, December 21, 2015

Not Quite With It Tonight

Although last Friday was my last day of work, I had a dentist appointment looming today that felt like the last thing I needed to go through to be Done.  To be honest, I've been dreading this.  Removal of an old filling.   Along with the knowledge that if it doesn't go exactly right, it's time for a root canal. 

My dentist uses the CEREC system by Sirona for doing the crown there in his office.  He takes laser profiles of the area and then models the crown in a 3D CAD program until he gets all the details right.  Once he's done, he sends the file to a small, water-cooled, CNC mill which carves a porcelain crown with diamond cutting tools, a process that only takes about 20 minutes.  Once the size is confirmed, they treat the porcelain with a glaze-like compound that brings it to the proper hardness.  With all this technology, the procedure is done in one visit, as opposed to sending off an impression to get the crown made and wearing a temporary crown for a week or two.  I was in the chair by 9 AM and done around 12:30. 

Getting it done in one day doesn't make it any more pleasant, though, and I'm a hurtin' puppy tonight.  He took at least a half hour to carve away the old filling and then carve much of the tooth away to function as a post to hold the crown.  Too many moments, like shoving the laser dimensioning probe into my mouth, felt like this classic Far Side cartoon. 

More content tomorrow.



  1. Yep, except it felt like they crammed in a horseshoe sized liquid rubber filled trough and then jammed in the tennis ball. (or was it a softball or a basketball)
    I was chatting with my sister not long ago and asked if she remembered the trips to the dentist in the old neighborhood, she said yes and we both agree that our lifelong fear of dentistry got its start during those late 1950's visits.

    Of course I wonder what else the little dental 3d cad/cnc setup could model.

    My father passed on the genetic legacy of short height, unusually large head, superior mechanical skills, and also the ability to produce sarcasm so dry that it would register zero on any known moisture test. He did not pass on the legacy of great teeth.

  2. Dentist appointment.


    That pretty much sums it up, right there.

  3. BTDT, TOO many times.

    My Dentist has similar equipment, and the last time I needed a crown it was "in by 10, out by 2".

    Technology can indeed be wonderful.